Political Notebook

Associated Press

Lugar endorses – but not in Indiana

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., has endorsed a candidate in a high-profile Senate race.

But that candidate is not Richard Mourdock, who defeated Lugar in Indiana’s Republican primary election.

Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., announced Tuesday that Lugar has endorsed him in his contest against Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren.

According to various media reports, Lugar said in a statement that Brown “has established himself as a Senate leader who can be counted upon to rise above partisanship and do the right thing.”

The six-term senator lauded Brown for supporting one of Lugar’s chief legislative efforts, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia known as START.

In a Monday debate, Warren named Lugar as a Republican she could work with in the Senate. She was quickly reminded by moderator David Gregory that Lugar will not be in the Senate after year’s end.

Lugar has stopped short of formally endorsing Mourdock in a manner similar to that for Brown. He said the night of his primary-election defeat, “I hope my opponent prevails in November” and that Republicans win a majority of seats in the Senate.

Lugar did introduce Mourdock to Republican senators at a Capitol Hill luncheon in July. But he told Indianapolis blogger and commentator Abdul Hakim-Shabazz in a September interview that he did not intend to actively campaign for Mourdock, who is running against Democrat Joe Donnelly and Libertarian Andrew Horning in the Nov. 6 election. Polls have indicated Donnelly and Mourdock are running even.

During the primary-election battle, Mourdock criticized Lugar for backing START. After his loss, Lugar said Mourdock’s stated opposition to bipartisanship “is not conducive to problem solving and governance.”